I recently became enamored with the idea of caramelized white chocolate after seeing it on Emma’s Blog. Intriguing, I thought. Here is something worth a shot. I will spare you the full explanation and method, Mr. Lebovitz does a much better job here. After you have made said chocolate, I wondered, well, what then? There are cheesecakes, ice cream, cookies, and eclairs to benefit from the addition of this transformed white chocolate, but I really wanted to combine it with cocoa nibs. Roasted, crunchy, smoldering cocoa nibs. Needless to say, ice cream would have been an easy answer, but my block of white chocolate wasn’t going to produce enough caramelized goodness to justify a batch of ice cream.
Cookies, my friends, to the rescue.
We’re beginning this cookie with brown butter, because, as everyone knows, brown butter is the secret weapon of knowledgeable cookie-bakers. Add some aforesaid cocoa nibs, dark chocolate of course, and sea salt for good measure. I think Mr. Lebovitz would approve.
Caramelized White Chocolate Cookies
½ c. (4 oz.) caramelized white chocolate, warmed slightly
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1 ½ t. pure vanilla extract
½ c. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 ¼ c. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
½ c. cocoa nibs (roasted or raw)
1 c. dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (delay this step if chilling dough)
Brown ½ stick (4 T) butter. Once browned, place in a bowl to cool slightly.
Cream the other stick of butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Once the brown butter has cooled slightly, pour into the creamed butter mixture, along with the brown sugar. Cream for about 2 minutes until well incorporated. Add caramelized white chocolate, eggs and beat for 1 more minute.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add this to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until the flour is just incorporated. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and fold in the cocoa nibs and chocolate chips.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator (optional). Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and space about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sea salt (optional)
Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned on the outside, but still soft and tender in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a cooking rack.